Happy Thanksgiving, folks! We hope you had a good one. Despite the holiday, there was some interesting news to come out over the past few days. And thanks to the Force, we can watch the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in our homes now! Plus, more Pacific Rim 2 casting info, Independence Day 2 news, and word that Natalie Portman may join the Steve Jobs biopic. All in this special holiday edition of Movie Morsels!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
And our number one reason at Movie Morsels for being thankful this holiday weekend is… Disney and Lucasfilm has debuted the trailer for the J.J Abrams-directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens on iTunes and some select theaters. It was, to coin an overused phrase, “impressive… most impressive.”
— Star Wars (@starwars) November 26, 2014
Pacific Rim 2
Following up on recent remarks from Guillermo del Toro that Charlie Day and Burn Gorman’s squabbling scientist characters would be returning for Pacific Rim 2, we’ve got some casting clarification from the film’s screenwriter Zak Penn. “While he wouldn’t confirm the first film’s main characters Raleigh and Mako, played by Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi, would return, he hinted that del Toro’s comments were more about a focus shift than casting changes. ‘Guillermo is the arbiter of what gets released,’ Penn said. ‘I think he’s probably referring to their enlarged roles more than he’s making a comment about who’s not in the movie. That’s my guess.’ Penn also said that he was able to suggest some new Kaiju to del Toro, some of which struck his fancy. ‘As a writer, it’s your responsibility to try to invent stuff… It’s heartening when I would pitch stuff or write stuff and he’d say, “This is great. I’m totally going to use it.”‘”
In other Guillermo del Toro news, the director is criticizing Warner Bros. for preventing the US Blu-ray and DVD release of the 1971 Ken Russell classic The Devils.
“There are powers that be at Warner Bros. that refuse to allow the movie to be seen,” says the filmmaker. “Del Toro said Warner Bros., which financed The Devils, has refused to release the original cut of Russell’s screen adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s The Devils of Loudun more than 40 years after it was made. A Warner Bros. spokesman declined comment Tuesday to The Hollywood Reporter over del Toro’s allegations. ‘The movie has been seen very little. It can only be shown in its entirety in England if it’s booked as an educational experience… It’s not an accident. It’s not because of lack of demand. It’s a true act of censorship. It’s extremely blatant.”
Independence Day 2
Fox has finally given the official green light to Independence Day 2, despite the lack of the original film’s star, Will Smith. “The film has been slotted for a May production start, and the studio now will move to close Roland Emmerich’s directing deal… There had been speculation we might see two films shot back-to-back, but Fox only greenlighted one. Nicolas Wright and James A. Woods wrote the script.” Casting on the film — due out on June 24, 2016 — “will begin after they lock Emmerich.”
Jobs — the Steve Jobs biopic — may have lost star Christian Bale, but it might soon gain another A-lister in Natalie Portman, who’s in talks to play the film’s female lead; while Michael Fassbender is still in discussions to play Jobs himself for director Danny Boyle. “The news comes following Universal coming on board as the film’s distributor after Sony put the pic in turnaround… The studio is eyeing an early spring production date.”
A Most Violent Year
Finally today… A Most Violent Year looks like a most excellent crime movie! Go behind the scenes of the Jessica Chastain-starring thriller (due out on December 31st) in this just-released featurette.